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Grana Review || Silk Culottes





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| OVERALL OPINION |

No major gripes with this purchase. When I first bought it, the waist was a bit loose (I’ve gained a decent amount of weight since then), so for someone who is on the very petite side and usually gets a 00 this may be an issue. It doesn’t fall off, but it doesn’t sit as high as it should. Other than that, this is a beautiful staple, and has been a hard worker in my closet.
Note: I’ve linked the product and a referral code for 10% off below, at the end of the review. __________________________________________________________

| MATERIAL |

Double layered 22 mm, "Silk Georgette Satin". The double layer in this extends throughout the length of the pant, unlike in the V neck slip dress. They’ve named the silk “georgette satin” but I would say the proper term is a charmeuse silk. Compared to the crepe de chine, which is a little grainy and velvety, this has a smooth, reflective surface ie satiny. It’s also a huge step up in quality (22 mm vs 16mm ) from the crepe de chine.
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| COLOR |

The color is true to the description: Mulberry. It’s a deep berry color that shows off the silk’s light reflective properties. I wore this throughout my Fall 10x10 and found the color to be quite versatile.
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| CUT |

Waist The waist is elasticized all around, I’m presuming, so that they get the most out of the sizes they carry. I generally don’t like elasticized waists because I feel like they bunch up and can be bulky, and this wasit is no different. It’s not a deal breaker, but I prefer fitted tops and crops paired with this, rather than looser shirts so my waist doesn’t get lost. This was the main reason I didn’t buy their silk ankle pants (they have a new flat front ankle pant that only has elastic in the back, so I might check that out).

Length: On me, the pants end just above my ankle. Not quite culottes, more wide legged cropped pants (I’m 5’0 for reference). I don’t mind that silhouette so I haven’t tailored them, but it’s a simple hemming job if you’re my height and want a true culotte.

Leg Opening: This is quite wide on me, wider than it is on the taller models and bloggers that have reviewed them. Again, I’m ok with this, but it’s going to be a more boho culotte than a fitted one. I don’t think this would be an easy alteration if you did want to take the sides in because of the elasticized waist, so if you want something more streamlined and you’re my size, avoid this.



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| SILHOUETTE |


On my frame, these are true wide legged cropped pants. Any wider and I don’t think it would look appropriate on my frame, so good on them for sizing such that people as small as me are included. If you’re taller, this should hit you mid calf, like it does on the models and other taller bloggers. It will also look a bit more streamlined on you. Just two different looks, nothing bad about either of them, but something to think about if you have a specific style in mind.
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| IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS |

This is a pretty fuss free style so there isn’t much to speak of in this department. Only one thing really comes to mind: the slanted pockets. I absolutely abhor horizontal pockets because they make you look wider, and these clean angled pockets are perfect to offset the voluminous silhouette.


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| FIT |

The waist will probably be a tad loose on true 00 petites. It’ll sit a little lower on your waist as a result (mid rise vs high rise). I’ve moved up a size currently so I don’t have an issue with this. Reviews say that the sizing is the same as the original "all around elastic" ankle pants, so if you already own that, buy the same size in this.

My measurements as of now: 32-23.5-33. I’d say I’m hourglass with relatively broad shoulders and a broad torso. I carry most of my weight in my thighs and bum. Height is: 5’0.
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| MEASUREMENTS | (in inches):

Waist: 22

Inseam: 23

Outseam: 34 3/4

Front Rise: 12

Back rise: 15.5

Hips: 34 1/2

Thigh: 22

Leg opening: 20 3/4

*Grana gives measurements on their site as well, for further reference.

Click this link for an image to help you understand how I took the measurements


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| QUALITY VS PRICE |

I got these culottes in the summer sale for 70% off, but the original pricing is : $99. Do I think these are worth the original price tag? Honestly, if I had to purchase it for that much initially, I would have definitely thought twice, and might have returned it because of the elasticized waist being a bit bulky.

BUT, having worn it around for a while and included it into my Fall 10x10, (you can check out ways I’ve styled it here in my Fall 10x10 series), it’s become one of my favorite staples. Goes to show, you can’t judge anything too quickly. So, yes, I would definitely repurchase in a different color. It’s a beautifully made, versatile staple, and the silk quality for this price is unparalleled. My crepe de chine dress was around the same price, and the silk on this is an improvement.

| DISCOUNT |

I have a 10% Discount if you want to pick up any pieces from Grana. Just use this link , create an account, and you’ll get a 10% discount on checkout. This is only applicable to first time customers who are creating a new account though.

Product link is here :I bought the culottes in a XXS, in the mulberry color

Glossier Skin Tint Review


Ever since Glossier came out with their makeup, I’ve been desperate to get my hands on the products. I don’t know if it’s my obsession with Into the Gloss, the cool girl, effortless chic ethos the adverts exude, or their skin first mantra, but I couldn’t wait to try out their products.

Since I started my new skincare regime, my skin has been treating me far better than normal, and I’m starting to prefer easy fuss free makeup. Gone is the girl that would spend an hour contouring, shading, powdering. It’s a 5 minute deal now at most.

But spot concealing without a base always LOOKS like makeup. The concealer never really seems to blend into skin seamlessly without at least a light base on. Up close it just ends up looking like splotches of makeup dotted haphazardly across my face. NOT a good look.So when I saw the skin tint, I had to grab it (along with Cloud Paint in dusk, reviewed here) It seemed like the perfect sheer base to even out my skin tone and layer under concealer. Read on to see if it passed the test!

* At the end of the review, I’ve added details on the kind of skin I have, as well as what I look for in a base to help give more context to my observations*




1. PACKAGING: | 4/10
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The bottle is very aesthetically pleasing: minimalistic but cool girl at the same time. I could definitely see this in a French pharmacy. The cap screws on tightly so it doesn’t leak in your makeup bag, and its small size makes it uber portable for on the go touchups. My only gripe is that once you’ve used a bit of the bottle, you have to use some force to squeeze out the product, despite its liquidiness.

Another great thing about the packaging is that there aren’t any paper labels so the bottle doesn’t get stained with makeup marks and look dirty!


2. SHADES | 4.5/5
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They have 5 shades: Light, Medium, Dark, Deep, and Rich.

Honestly, I think the names are a bit misleading since “dark” is what other brands would probably call a medium tan.

Anyhoo, I was definitely skeptical about the limited shade range when I first picked it up, but I will say that the product stays true to the claim that it “adapts” to your skin tone. The product is so sheer that enough skin shows through for the slight shade difference not to matter. Having said this, I have seen complaints that shade tones can be too yellow/pink, something I definitely can see affecting how “adaptable” the shades are.



3. COVERAGE | 5/5
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This has as much coverage as they claim (or warn) it will. After all of the negative reviews saying it’s tantamount to nothing, I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s like a subtle tint over your face that blurs uneven skin tone, and subtly lightens marks on your face. Nothing less, nothing more.

If you’re the kind of person that hates concealer and likes a flawless face, or loves “the glam look” this isn’t for you. It’s a great option for people who want to throw something on when they otherwise wouldn’t have, not an alternative for heavier skin tints like the It Cosmetics CC cream.


4. PREP
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This tint grabs onto dry skin and uneven surfaces, so it’s important you start with a well-exfoliated face.I had to physically exfoliate with a scrub in addition to my normal chemical exfoliants (AHAS and BHAS) to make sure I had a smooth surface.

This is definitely contrary to their claims that it’s a slap on kind of tint. It’s only a slap on kind of tint if you have perfect skin/take really good care of your skin. I followed up with a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and let that absorb into my skin for five minutes before applying the tint. This made all the difference in giving me the smoothest finish possible.

Guys, I know it’s marketed as “hydrating” but other than the dewy finish, it doesn’t do much for the skin underneath. The reason being, glycerin sits on your skin and pulls water in or out depending on the climate. If the climate is dry, the glycerin is going to pull the water right out of your skin and dehydrate it. You’ll be the worst combination of oily with dry skin, so make sure you moisturize well before using the tint.

5. APPLICATION | 4/5
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The tint is pretty unique in texture, so it takes some trial and error to get the perfect method down.

After some experimenting, I found the sweet spot to be two sheer layers with just enough tint to cover the face each time and 30 seconds of dry time in between. Adding too much at once just makes the tint streak and take forever to settle in.

I apply by squeezing straight onto my face. Don’t put it on the back of your hand or in your palms because a lot of the product just absorbs into your skin.

Then I’ll smooth the tint out with my fingers to create an even layer.

If there are any streaky areas, I just pick up my stippling brush and push the tint into my skin. This usually solves the issue.

I wouldn’t recommend buffing because it tends to lift up dry skin that the tint will cling to.

Overall, it’s easy enough application if you prep well, but I wouldn’t say it’s foolproof.




6. LAYERING AND MIXING

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Ahhhh, the big question. Many of us who like heavier coverage have been asking how this works to sheer out heavy duty foundations and under heavy concealers. Here’s what I found:


|| LAYERING ||


The tint is absolutely gorgeous when used in conjugation with a heavier concealer (for those of us who have spottier skin). However, I did notice, that not all concealers play well with this foundation.
I found that waterier concealers (like my Tarte Rainforest of the Sea concealer) that dried down to a matte or semi matte finish, weirdly crusted over the tint. The same went for the UD foundation I tried to spot conceal with. It looked great from afar, but up close it was a mess. I salvaged the look by attacking the crusty spots with a beauty blender, but it was a ridiculous amount of effort.

What it did play well with were creamier concealers, even if they set to demi matte finishes. I don’t understand why this is, but it worked well with my Kryolan dermoflauge concealers, which are creams that set to a demi matte finish. So, I’d recommend pairing this tint with the glossier stretch concealer (I avoided this because coconut oil breaks me out) or any other creamy concealer of your choice.


|| MIXING ||


a) With A Matte BB

I’ve been pretty loyal to my Covergirl Matte BB for everyday looks. It’s actually less of a BB and more of a light-medium coverage foundation, but it’s one of the only BBs that doesn’t leave me an oily, patchy mess at the end of the day. My skin has been unusually well behaved of late so I decided to try and sheer it out with the tint for a no makeup look. Initially it looked a little dry and patchy in areas, but within 10 minutes it had settled down into a beautiful demi matte finish. I didn’t notice any adverse affects on longevity, and I was only mildly dewier by the end of the day (mind you dewy NOT oily). So that was Success #1

b) With a Primer:

This was a fail from the get go. This tint is so sheer, by adding a colorless pigment aka primer, you’re basically sheering this out to nothing. Mixing foundation and primer is still a great way for me to be able to slap on higher coverage foundation while sheering it out and priming simultaneously, but I won’t be using this technique with my skin tint anymore.

c) With a Demi Matte Medium Coverage Foundation:

Dior Forever Flawless Foundation was my first expensive base, and coming from Mac to this, it was a major step up I didn’t look like I was wearing theatre makeup, and it didn’t have the horrible flashback my Mac foundation did). I don’t use it much anymore because of the scent, but in a pinch, it’s a great foundation to use and have in my arsenal. I decided to sheer this out with my skin tint for a high coverage bb like base and it worked beautifully, no separation and no excessive oiliness. The wear time was slightly less than my normal Dior Forever wear time, but not by much. It also looked far more natural than the Dior, despite providing coverage only slightly less than that of my Dior when worn alone. Success #2

d) With a Matte Full coverage foundation:

I used my holy grain full coverage foundation, the Urban Decay All Nighter, for this test. This was definitely my favorite of all the blends I tried out. I generally have an issue with the UD taking some time to melt into my skin (it looks a bit porcelain-like for the first 15 to 20 minutes). With the skin tint mixed in, I didn’t have to wait for that beautiful natural finish. The coverage was a step down from my Urban Decay, (on par with my Dior Forever) but the finish was so much more natural and flawless than my Dior. Another gripe I usually have with the UD is that I have to prime my nose because it tends to sink into my nose pores and accentuate them. With the skin tint mixed in, it lay beautifully on my nose, with no sinking. The mix wore well throughout the night (I have had issues with the UD foundation separating when used in conjunction with certain primers and mixed with other foundations). I don’t even think I was noticeably oilier by the end of the night! Success #3 for sure, this is going to be my go to night out base!



7. LONGEVITY

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On its own this bad boy lasts on my skin for 4-5 hours. Not bad for someone who gets only slightly longer wear time from supposedly oily girl friendly foundations (ehem Tarte Amazonian Clay Bb tinted moisturizer).

With a primer, and a mid day powder touch up I get a good 3 hours tacked on to the initial wear time.

One of the best things about this tint is that it’s so sheer, it fades imperceptibly, uniformly, and gracefully. You can’t really point out specific patches where the makeup has rubbed off unlike heavier foundations.


8. OILINESS

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I didn’t feel like I got uncomfortably oily till the fag end of the day. In fact, I wouldn’t call this an oily base at all. It’s more of a demi matte finish, and I can see people with drier skin needing to seriously moisturize before wearing this. The subtle glow is counter-intuitively, great for oily skinned people since most of us have acne scars and textural issues as well. The glow blurs these out without the need to bring out the war paint. I don’t mind if my scars peek through because the overall effect, especially at a average interpersonal distance is healthy, beautiful, even skin.


9. WHO I’D RECOMMEND IT TO

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Those with normal to mildly oily skin, no questions asked. If you have oily skin you can definitely make this work with a hard working primer and some powder, and for those with mildly dry skin, a good bit of exfoliation and moisturizer should make this workable.

The only people I would not recommend this to are those with SUPER DRY SKIN. I emphasize this because I think there’s a huge misconception about dewiness being the same as moisturizing. It’s not.

As a person with oily skin, I felt the need to moisturize beforehand, not only for smooth application, but because my skin felt dry and tight with just this on.



10. AMOUNT VS PRICE 

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You get 1floz/30ml in a bottle for 26 dollars.

This doesn’t seem horrible considering my Dior Forever foundation is twice as expensive with the same amount of product (that glass bottle packaging really is deceiving).

Considering how little you should (and can) use each application, this bottle should last you quite a while. And for this reason, I think that it’s definitely worth the price listed.

Overall thoughts:

This tint did exactly what I wanted it to do and more. It gave me a quick and easy way to slap on some makeup for errands, or for the one off coffee/dinner date. It’s hard enough to drag myself out of pajamas and away from my books, and makeup just feels like too much of a luxury to spend time on.





MY SKIN DETAILS


1. Oily all over, with one or two small isolated dry, rough spots thanks to tretinoin.

2. Acne prone: just pustules thankfully not cystic. Initially concentrated on one half of my face they spread to the other last year. I’ve been keeping them at bay with a strict skincare regimen (saving this for a later post).

3. Acne scarring and discoloration: When I scar, the scars are DARK. Thankfully, my skin tends to recover from scarring fairly quickly *knock on wood*, but the scars never fully fade. In addition I have an uneven skin tone, bettered by good skincare, but nowhere near porcelain.

4. Pores: I have fairly large pores that stretch from my nose area well into my cheeks. I use the benefit porefessional primer on occasion, but the silicone heavy formula breaks me out, so it’s only used when absolutely necessary.

5. Peach Fuzz: I have a good smattering of peach fuzz pretty much all over my face. I’m planning on getting it lasered off eventually. Anyone who has had this done before, I’d love to hear your experiences/advice before taking the plunge.


THINGS I LOOK FOR IN A BASE


1. Longevity: Finding a light/semi sheer base for no-makeup makeup that doesn’t slide off or make you oily is a struggle for me. Tints and sheers are just not made for women with oily skin.

2. Effortless: Ok, this one is primarily thanks to Glossier and their claim that the base can be smoothed on with hands in a blasé manner like their cool girl models. If this is true, it’s an exciting proposition to be able to smooth on a base, like moisturizer, while grabbing your keys and coffee on your way out. Reviewers have Conflicting opinions on this one though

3. Decent Coverage: I have plenty of acne scarring, so while I’m ok having to conceal, I do want my base to at least camouflage the scars a little bit

Chiaroscuro Review || The Big Caro Bag



I’m super excited to introduce to you my ride or die daytime bag. It’s ethically made with quality materials, is sustainable, and supports local artisans. Yea, it’s kinda perfect!




SHAPE AND ERGONOMICS
This bag is the perfect slouchy everyday, "throw-everything-in", kind of bag. It goes with everything and has a relaxed hobo shape, with a structured bottom that ensures it maintains it’s half moon silhouette. The shoulder strap is sturdy and thick. It's the perfect width, sitting comfortably on your shoulder without cutting into flesh.





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SIZE 

The bag dimensions are 30 (l) x 30 (h) x 14 (w) cm. Despite it’s size the bag isn’t heavy at all!

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LEATHER QUALITY

The bag is made of Printed Nubuck Leather and feels soft but sturdy to touch. 
This is, however, top grain and not full grain leather. This means they have buffed off the top layer due to imperfections and embossed it with a texture plate on top. 
This gives it that cross texture while still having the "velvet nap" finish that is typical of  full grain Nubuck leather. They do this because their leather is "salvaged", meaning it would have otherwise been discarded because of slight imperfections. This of course makes it lower quality than full grain, but I'm ok with this, because in using salvaged leather they've reduced wastage and are supporting sustainability. 
***Note they do have  bags made of full grain leather (also salvaged  but with few enough imperfections not to buff down) that have not been buffed down, just look for descriptions that don't include 'printed'. 
Them most important indicator of quality is their refusal to use split grain leather (low quality leather that is made from scraps bonded together) and only work with top grain and full grain .

The bag color deepens with use as most vegetable tanned leathers do on exposure to the sun. Scuffing only adds to the patina, that bronzey aged look of older leathers. You can soften any harsh marks by brushing them out with a soft brush.
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LINING

Handloom Cotton-Linen
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DUST-BAG

Handloom Cotton-Jute Dust-bag
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FINISH AND DESIGN DETAILS

My favourite detail on this bag is the outer compartment's magnetic closure. It makes stashing valuables like your keys or card incredibly easy, while ensuring they’re secure. I assure you, even when the bag tumbles, that compartment stays firmly shut.

The strap of the bag is attached via light gold metal hardware. The zipper tab is made of a slightly darker leather, punctuated with decorative brass pins. The hardware is of good quality, and the zips all work smoothly.
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COMPARTMENTS
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The bag has an outer rear pocket that fastens magnetically as I mentioned above. The inside has a zip pocket on one side, and two smaller slip pockets on the other, the perfect size for your cellphone, or small knickknacks like pens or loose change. The main inner compartment is undivided.




SITE IMAGES VS REALITY
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I included this because misleading, retouched images are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It’s an obvious pitfall of online shopping, but it just irks me when companies are so blatantly dishonest. The Chiaroscuro site pictures the bags worn by their own staff, in natural lighting, with no retouching. I can attest to the fact that what you see is what you get. I love how transparent this brand is, and it’s a great example of how a sustainable company should function.

PRICE
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 $130
Every bag also comes with a one year warranty, and you can send your bag back for any repairs free of charge.

CUSTOMISABLE
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You can get any of the bags Monogrammed for an extra $4.50. It's a great touch especially for a gift.
If you want to customise the shoulder strap, the compartments or make any other small changes to the style of a bag, there is a section called Made to Order, and any of the bags in this section can be custom made to your preferences.

SHIPPING
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They offer international shipping via FEDEX.


Overall, this bag is one of the most treasured serendipitous additions to my closet this year. It was actually a gift for my boyfriend’s mother, but she’s vegan, so the bag eventually came to me, and boy am I glad it did. It’s worn well despite my rough. every day use, is super versatile, and the design is extremely utilitarian. This is a brand that you should definitely check out if you're in the market for a new leather bag!



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